Earlham College Hardware Interfacing Project


Earlham's Computer Science Applied Groups provide a structure for students to get paid for consequential work in an educational environment. This means that there is little pre-requisite knowledge. You learn as you work and we are welcome to newcomers of all experience levels. We find that doing work that others depend on makes for a continuous, powerful learning process, so all Computer Science majors are encouraged (but not required) to join an applied group. Additionally, students of another academic focus are welcome to join.

The Hardware Interfacing Project (HIP) implements technological approaches to practical problems on a local scale. For example, Earlham's sustainibility office wished to run a energy conservation contest between the residence halls, so they requested that HIP monitor campus electricity usage with finer granularity and continuously display the measurements in a pretty graph online (see right). Fulfilling that request involved electrical-hardware work and web-software work. To publicize the results, HIP set up a touchscreen kiosk-style display of this graph in the science building. To emphasize the human role in energy usage rather than set building constraints, HIP is taking various measurements of the dorm buildings and developing an algorithm for normalizing the data accordingly. Although this project involved gear-hacking, mathematics, coding, and design, no one member of HIP was responsible for all areas. In this way, HIP makes space for people of diverse interests and skills to work productively.

Current Members:
Charlie Peck:A professor of Computer Science at Earlham College. He coordinates HIP and provides a resource for students who are stuck.
Ivan Babic:A alumnus of Earlham College who currently works here. He maintains our cluster super-computer, works in a number of applied groups, and probably a number of useful things behind the scenes.
Sadie Coughlin-Prego:A student at Earlham interested in computer science and art. She is involved with the design of HIP's web presence and with our various field science projects.
Alex Seewald:A computer science major who also studies physics. He works on the hardware end of the energy monitoring, Earlham's GPS timeserver, the algorithmic and coding aspects of energy normalization, and the website you are readying right now!
Andrey Gavrilov:A student at Earlham who works on the scientific and data-collection aspects of energy normaliztion.
Sofia Bustamonte:Sofia works on field science serial device interfacing, e.g. the YSI 600 R / Ardunio interface.
George Crowson:George is working on a fork of the current energy graph that is tailored for the energy conversation contest. He also maintains the display kiosk.
Craig Earley:Craig works on the weather-station hardware and the database associated with it.
To get a better sense of our day-to-day work, check out our documentation for HIP's past and current projects. Also, feel free to email any of the HIP members listed above; their names are links.